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Flat Lay is an extremely versatile still life genre. It can be minimalistic and simple, contain only key objects in a well-designed composition or dozens of tiny objects that form…

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USING A TEXTURE AS A SUBJECT

Although it may seem that the use of texture in photography is a rather simple compositional technique, nevertheless sometimes there are certain difficulties in its development. Lighting, shadows, and colors work differently in landscapes or portraits than in photographs that contain many textures or patterns. But as soon as you begin to find textures in everyday life, they will significantly improve your pictures (or even become their main subject). Every aspect of the texture becomes an important part of the composition, so you need to consider all the details, from color to the picture and even depth.

Finding textures in everyday compositions

Before heading out into the world in search, take a look at the recent collection of your own photographs. Can you spot any specific textures on them? You might have photographed sand on the beach or a peeling wall in an abandoned house. Everything around has its own texture, whether it be a sheet or someone’s hair – although some of them, of course, are visually more interesting than others.

Because of this, finding amusing textures is the hardest part. Think of the natural textures of rust or peeling paint, or an oil stain. The more you start remembering the texture, exploring the world around you, the more you will find it. Take, for example, a photograph of the wall of an abandoned house. Will the wall of YOUR home be just as interesting? The thing is that in the picture a dynamic composition is made by mold and peeling paint.
Texture Creation

If you can’t find an interesting texture in your environment, why not create your own? Approaching the task creatively, you can mix food colors, oil, paints, dirt, sand – everything you can come up with! Thus, you get full creative control over the end result. Experiment with several different environments until you find a combination that works.

A combination of oil, water and food coloring can be a good start. By mixing various amounts of these three substances, you can create beautiful abstract images of an object that is constantly changing, as, for example, in the photo below.

Shadows

When focusing on a texture in a composition, it is important to focus on both the light and the shadows inside the texture. Without shadows, it will most likely look flat and uninteresting. The contrast created by the difference in illuminated areas and shadows makes the image more voluminous and realistic.

As an example, consider the following image. You can say that the light comes from the side of the photographer and that this is probably natural light, which creates a contrast of light and shadow, which really enlivens the image; It seems that you could literally reach out and touch this texture.

Although shadows and contrast are extremely important for texture images, it is also important to make sure that the lighting is not too harsh. Too strong contrast can make some parts of the image overexposed, while others, on the contrary, underexposed; while some photographers seek to do this, it is important to understand when it makes an image more aesthetically pleasing and when not.

Angle and Depth of Field

Textures do not always need to be shot directly. Stand on the stairs or lie down on the ground; You never know how the texture will look from a completely different angle!

Looking at the abstract photo of the geyser above, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what you are looking at. Once you recognize the object, you will realize that the photo was taken from a bird’s eye view, while the combination of colors and textures creates an incredibly attractive image. The photographer decided to include many different textures, which made the composition more interesting.

Shooting a texture with a shallower depth of field can also be a good solution for creating an abstract image. In the photo below, the emphasis is solely on the dentation of the sheet. Using a shallow depth of field, the photographer made the image much more abstract and interesting than if the object were easily recognizable.

Necessary equipment

Alright, alright, now that you know how to find textures and create interesting compositions with them, what do you really need to shoot them?

DSLR camera
tripod
Yes, that’s the whole list! Although you may need an external flash (and most likely a face mask to avoid exposure to asbestos and dust) while exploring different abandoned places, you can create aesthetic abstract images with textures and simply using just a digital camera and a tripod.

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